Changing the scale of organic farming


people sharing ideas about organic farming and food

17 July 2023

Redaction: AV

METABIO Workshop at OWC 2021

HOW FAR CAN ORGANIC FOOD AND FARMING DEVELOP? (OWC-STA-292) Friday 10 September from 9:00 to 10:30
CONSORTIUM PLANHEALTH (2021-2022) <br> The management of the global health of farm products and soil is a major concern in organic agriculture (OA). Management constraints for plant and animal health are very similar but also interdependent and closely tied to soil health. However, the biotechnical levers for health management are generally developed for a given product, and the links between soil health, plant health and animal health are rarely considered. The aim of this consortium is to bring together the three research communities working on the integrated management of plant, animal and soil health for the very first time. They will work together on the interfaces between the animal and plant kingdoms, as well as on the link with soil health, leading to the emergence of scientific fronts essential to the development of an OA that encompasses both crops and livestock.
Whereas the demand for organic products is increasing, the development of organic pig production in Europe is slow compared to other animal and plant sectors. This project explores the hypothesis according to which pig farming could contribute to the development of organic agriculture by bolstering the optimization of processes and closing cycles at different levels of organization, from the animal to the territory. For example, the pig, in its capacity as an omnivore, is capable of recycling co-products that could not be recycled otherwise, and the fertilizing potential of its waste is of interest for soil and crop production. The obstacles to the development of organic pig farming have been well identified. On the other hand, the links between the different levels of organization require further study.
PRESS REPORT - While the European Union is committed to devoting at least 25% of agricultural land to organic farming by 2030, how can we support the change in scale of this production? How to move to 50% or even more organic world production tomorrow? Published on 28 February 2022


To address scientific and societal challenges that require the mobilization of a wide range of disciplines, INRAE has set up cross-disciplinary research programs called "metaprograms".

The metaprogram "Moving to predominant organic agriculture" aims to explore the hypothesis that the national supply of organic products would become the majority, in a context of strong demand and agro-ecological transition.

What are the issues, the levers and the consequences of such a change of scale of organic agriculture throughout the whole agri-food chain?

The metaprogram is based on:

  • An approach including the whole agri-food system.
  • Interdisciplinary scientific communities.
  • INRAE experimental facilities that are partly or completely converted to organic agriculture.
  • Close interactions with partners and stakeholders.

The aim is to develop proposals, scientifically substantiated, to anticipate the consequences and accompany the development of organic agri-food systems.

Download the leaflet of the metaprogram